Gitarrist Joe Langridge-Brown im Gespräch

kurzweil-ICH: Interview mit Band Nothing But Thieves

kurzweil-ICH: Interview mit Band Nothing But Thieves nothing-but-thieves-interview-joe-langridge-brown

„Yeah everybody’s going crazy“ und „Is anyone else feeling lonely?“ sind nur einige Zeilen des kürzlich veröffentlichten neuen Songs (Partnerlink) der 2012 im Britischen Southend-on-Sea gegründeten Rockband Nothing But Thieves, die erschreckend gut auf die aktuelle Weltlage passen. Mit Gitarrist Joe Langridge-Brown habe ich über die Auswirkungen der Covid-19-Pandemie, das anstehende neue Album sowie das unerträglich große Talent von Sänger Conor Mason gesprochen. Also, eher geschrieben, denn das Interview ist per Mail entstanden und war eigentlich an die gesamte Band gerichtet (was ihr sicher merken werdet…), aber im Nachgang bin ich sehr froh, dass Joe mir die Fragen beantwortet hat. Denn der scheint ein cooler und verdammt lustiger Typ zu sein! Ach, und woher stammt eigentlich der Bandname…? Lest selbst!

kurzweil-ICH: Interview mit Band Nothing But Thieves nothing-but-thieves-interview-2020

Nothing But Thieves Interview

Maik: Congrats to your new amazing song and music video for „Is Everybody Going Crazy?“! The title does hit a nerve in the current situation we are all living in. Can you tell us the story behind it?

Joe: We’d finished up a hell of a long tour and had some proper time off for the first time since 2014 or something. It meant we had the luxury of time to write some songs at home which was unusual for us – normally the songs come from nervous energy built up over a tour and thrown about on a tour bus. It forced me to think about what I actually wanted these songs to be about rather than writing a bunch of songs and then realising what they mean later on. So I started writing about twitter, current events and the ‚Information Age‘. One of the lyrics turned into ‚Is Everybody Going Crazy?‘ which I took to Conor and Dom. Dom had already written the original riff of the song. Actually he’d written three versions. One of them was funny. We chose one of the less funny versions and we thrashed out the rest of the song from there.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic your Russia tour had to be postponed and right now it is not really sure whether we can see you at planned festivals like “Hurricane” or “Southside” in June – how are you holding up with this?

It’s really, really shit. We’ve just released a new song, we had rehearsed a new set which was going to be our best one yet and then it all comes grinding to a halt. But I’m trying not to wallow in it. There are a lot of people who have it worse than us, we’ve just all gotta ride it out together and stay the fuck at home.

Are you working from home, for example on new songs and lyrics, meeting via video chat and sorts or do you take some time off right now?

Oh we’re keeping as busy as possible. We’re currently very efficient at replying to emails. If you want an interview done then right now, we’re your guys. We had this whole plan about what we wanted to do around the new song so we’re adjusting that now. Instead of a ‚Is Everybody Going Crazy? – Live From Moscow‘ video, we put out a ‚Live from our own homes‘ video. It’s less vibey and the catering sucks but it sounds great.

Let’s get back to the music: It’s been two and a half years since “Broken Machine” (Partnerlink), one and a half since your last EP “What Did You Think When You Made Me This Way?” (noch ein Partnerlink…) – when can we expect a new Nothing But Thieves record to be released?

It’ll come sometime this year, I’m sure, but we arent ready to put a date on it yet. Still a few things to be worked out. What I can say though, is that there are going to be a few surprises. We let the songs go where they wanted to, there might only be one or two standard song structures on there, shifting tempos, that sort of thing.

“Broken Machine” was built up around a theme after your debut was more of a collection of great songs. Is your next record also going to have a connected meaning?

Yeah for sure. Whilst Broken Machine ended up having a thread through the album that was realised towards the end of the process, the songs we have written for the next one have have a more purposeful theme. The songs are a bit more outward looking. I was trying to hold up the mirror but I’m not sure how well I did that. I’d like to give you more details and I keep writing/deleting sentences but we’re all just gonna have to wait. It’s not my fault.

Are there any fundamental changes in sound we are to expect?

Yeah always. I think if you listen to our albums there are always some sonic surprises in there. Nothing is „the sound of the band“ until it is, until we make it so. Some people were surprised by the sleazy style of „Forever And Ever More“ but it was always part of our band as far as we saw it, others just hadn’t heard it yet. We’ve got more in our locker. I think one of the songs sounds a bit like Hall and Oates. A really pessimistic Hall and Oates.

Will Mike Crossey be producing more tracks on your third record after his involvement in the first single? And are there moments where you say “we want something like in that Arctic Monkeys / The 1975 / … track you did”?

Yeah, we love working with Mike. He’s a proper genius – although you need to make sure he’s well fed. Even geniuses need fuel, I guess. It’s not so much that we work with Mike because we want a particular style of production or to sound like a certain album or whatever. We don’t really reference Arctic Monkeys or 1975 or Jake Bugg, it’s because he’s done all those things and more. We need someone who has a bit of breadth and scope. The ultimate goal is to make an album that sounds like itself anyway.

@Conor Mason: What do you do to keep your voice in shape? And did you always have the talent for this large vocal range and changes in pitch or how much training went into it?

Sorry, I am not Conor Mason, you’re stuck with me. But I have it on good authority that he does long vocal warm ups before each show and drinks gallons of ginger and honey tea. And yes, he has always been very, very, very, very, very talented. Quite annoying.

kurzweil-ICH: Interview mit Band Nothing But Thieves nothing-but-thieves-interview-joe-langridge-brown_02

I came to notice that you give a random answer regarding your band name for every interview. You now that I HAVE to ask you now, right..? How did you come up with “Nothing But Thieves”?

I wanted us to be called Nothing Butt Thieves, but was talked out of it.

I was kind of shocked to see, that only one of your singles did chart in the UK and that not even that high (#89 for “Sorry” in 2017), yet it seems to me and my German point of view, that you get more and more popular with every year and the stages and crowds bigger. Streams, album purchases in relation to singles, YouTube – What do you think about the evolution the music industry has taken within the last years?

I don’t think, singles from alternative bands really chart anymore, do they? Maybe the really, really big established bands do, I dunno. But yeah, we do get ever more popular, thanks for noticing! I think a lot of bands have grown slowly under the radar throughout history. You get some that had a big hit or whatever, but that’s just less common now that rock isn’t as popular. It doesn’t really bother me. You can’t argue with people streaming and not buying music as much. It’s a waste of energy being mad about it. I buy vinyl but I also stream. Streaming is so useful. I do think they’re gonna have to adjust the scales at some point. But as long as people have access to the music and we see some new faces, I’m a happy man.

Would you say it is easier to get successful today or is it even harder than decades ago?

Err, I’m not sure to be honest. It’s easier to make your music visible but now there’s also a lot more noise to fight through. There’s more music and there are more artists out there. Different challenges. It’s certainly harder to get rich from music now than it was. I don’t have an Aston Martin or endless guitars, which I for one, think is a real shame.

You really seem very to be down to earth regarding your huge success. Are there any things or people that you came upon in your band history that you just could shake your heads about, because they were so silly and withdrawn?

Well, I did just say that I wanted an Aston Martin and endless guitars… But thanks. I’m not going to name names but I’ve seen bands walking round with security that, quite frankly, do not need it. We were headlining our hometown festival and another artist tried to lockdown the back stage because she didn’t want people seeing her. It’s like mate, this is Southend not Glastonbury. But that sort of stuff is funny to us anyway. I’ve got so many more of those stories.

Always my last question (and maybe better suited than ever nowadays): What do you do when you feel bored?

Ha, that is a good question. I still listen to music. I am a big advocate for getting lost down YouTube or Wikipedia rabbit holes where I end up learning the most insane and interesting things. I’m a history nerd and can’t get enough of that stuff. Documentaries on prisons is my latest thing. The last meals of people on death row – that’s weird isn’t it. Oh, and a large supply of decent wine also helps.

Thanks for the interview!

Thanks, Joe
Nothing But

Mehr von und zu Nothing But Thieves

Mehr zu den noch immer viel zu unbekannten, tollen Nothing But Thieves gibt es überraschenderweise auf der Website der Band zu sehen und hören, vor allem aber auch auf Spotify oder den offiziellen Social-Media-Kanälen der Jungs auf Facebook, Twitter oder auch bei Instagram.

Und weil das Schreiben über Musik immer das eine ist, sie dann wirklich zu hören aber das (viel bessere) andere, hier noch ein paar ausgewählte Nothing-But-Thieves-Tracks, die ich euch mit auf den Weg geben möchte (beginnend mit meinem absoluten All-Time-Favorite „Itch“). Und wem das nicht ausreicht, der kann sich ja noch die Playlist mit den 10 Lieblings-Rocksongs anhören, die die Band mir 2017 zusammengestellt hat (40 Minuten wirklich gute Musik!).

Hoffentlich kann ich dann alsbald wieder eine richtige Tour der Jungs präsentieren… Stay safe!

Bilder: Joe Langridge-Brown | Sony Music | Nothing But Thieves Facebook

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